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FASD and Autism…

I was recently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, too. About 3 weeks ago. I have not said anything, here because I don’t know how I feel. There is one thing to think you have something, but then you are actually diagnosed with it. I went through the same thing when a doctor said I had all the characteristics of someone with FASD. I knew that you could have both. I actually wondered if I did. I have heard that people with FASD can have both. I know both can have a lot of the same traits, but I had a neurologist ask me a bunch of questions and he said not only by my answers, but in observing me, he knew I had Autism. Hmmm. Someone asked me how I felt. I didn’t even answer. I really don’t know how I feel about it. I’m not saying this is bad. I have got to know a lot of neurotypicals in my years and I can honestly say, there is not one I would want to be like…lol. So, I’m okay with being on the spectrum. When i wrote Autism Spectrum Disorder, the word that I kept staring at was Disorder. Really? This is a disorder? I want to look up what that means. Wait a second…okay a medical condition involving a disturbance to the usual functioning of the mind.

Okay. I will let that process.

Who says how we process and what we do is a distrubance. Okay. I get that things are not right. But who says that neurotypical brains are just that…typical?…

Just a question. Image

Look at us and say well done…

Those of us with FASD have a different journey than yours. We are running the same race, but our starting blocks were set ten miles behind yours. Our ears hear jumbled words when you speak. We don’t understand instructions. We are often misread or misunderstood. We fall over things more because our eyes don’t see like yours. Our senses do not allow us to understand our surroundings and it causes us to want to run. Our brains don’t think like yours. It is critical that we are surrounded by people who know and understand the disability, but don’t look at us critically when we make mistakes. People who are willing to explain things several times, but with patience.  They look through their hearts and see our worth. They allow us to do something in an hour that would take them five minutes. We need you to sit down and do things with us when you see us struggling, but don’t do it for us. And, when we do our best…not your best…but our best…smile. It might not look the way you wanted. It might not be the exact instructions you gave. It might be completely different than what YOU expected, but…look at us with much pride and say well done! Acknowledge the effort. Be proud of the heart behind the work. Make corrections, but with love, a calm voice, and with a huge emphasis on the things that are right. Allow someone with FAS to believe they are still okay even though they do things so differently. let them know that even though they struggle more, they are still very important. They are still highly intelligent. They are still giving it their all. And really, isnt that what is most important.